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Volume 9, No. 4 October, 1871


     At the October election of 1857 John L. Campbell was elected county judge, C. E. Hedges, treasurer and recorder, L. Tacket, sheriff; and C. B. Rustin, county clerk. Judge Campbell was, at the time of his election, a partner of W. R. Henry, in the real estate business. He was very affable and genial, which, together with his suavity of manners, made him many warm friends. Soon after his election he was beset by a few pretended friends, who were eager to plunge their hands into the county treasury, and urged upon the judge the building of a county jail, and the issuing of county warrants to pay for the same. Yielding to the advice of friends, the spring following he awarded the contract at big figures to J. W. Bosler and C. E. Hedges. The building was to be of brick, two stories, and rooms sufficient for jailer and family. No other county warrants were to be issued for county buildings until the jail warrants were disposed of by the contractors. About this time, S. H. Cassady erected a large and commodious two-story brick building in Sioux City at a very heavy expense, which so involved him that he found it necessary to sell the building for the liquidation of the many claims against him. As the county was having a fine jail for the reception of criminals, there was no good reason why it should not have a fine court house to try them in, thought Mr. Cassady, and through the influence of Mr. Henry a sale was effected with Judge Campbell for the building, which was then known as "Cassady's Hall," for the sum of twenty thousand dollars in county warrants, which agreement became a part of the county records. This coming to the ears of Bosler and Hedges, who regarded it as a great invasion on their jail warrant interest, they were soon seen wending their way to the county judge's office, pouring out their vindictives on the county court so furiously and lavishly that an eccentric bystander remarked, that bitter oaths were heard coming up out of the earth around the judge's office for a month after. On their arrival at the judge's office they found the judge absent, and the records safely housed in a huge iron safe. They determined at least to show their willingness to annihilate all papers pertaining to the sale and at once commenced a vigorous attack upon the safe, which offered resistance equal to the attack, when, after giving it a severe thumping for its unyielding qualities, they retired, badly demoralized, and with no visible improvement of morals.
     Soon after this (as the judge informed me), Bosler called on the judge at his office, and requested him to accompany him up to the jail, which was then nearly completed, for the purpose of inspecting the work. When they had entered the jail, Bosler turned the key, and as the lock clicked said to the judge, "damn you, do you hear that," and in a menacing manner demanded a retraction on the part of the judge, as to the court house purchase, and a complete annulment of the entire contract. Bosler being of the inflexible, and the judge of the flexible character, and perhaps not wishing to be the first prisoner in his county lock-up, no doubt thought "give me liberty, or give me death "—the judge succumbed, and agreed to annul the purchase contract. Bosler was the first turn-key in Woodbury county, and the first man to put the jail to practical use. The contract was afterwards annulled, and in order that no trace or evidence of it should appear upon record, erasures were made, and some pages torn out, which gave the records a very unsatisfactory appearance; no warrants had been issued on the purchase, as the county seal had very mysteriously disappeared. It was afterwards ascertained that F. M. Hubble, a young man employed in the treasurer's and recorder's office, had purloined the seal, and acted in the capacity of "keeper of the seal." In order to keep it secure, and prevent the manufacturing of warrants, he deposited it in the manure near the livery stable of J. C. Furber & Co.; it was afterwards resurrected and returned to the judge. Mr. Cassady then brought suit against the county for breach of contract, laying a heavy damage, which, after a hot contest by able counsel, he failed to sustain his case. He afterwards rented the hall to the county for a court room, and during the war it was used for hospital and commissary purposes.
     In the spring of 1858, Isaac Pendleton, Patrick Robb, with two or three others, all graduates I believe, of Oxford college, started west to seek homes, where the field of operation was equal to their ambition, and where the prospects in the golden future would call out their best efforts and fully develop their abilities. They brought up at Sioux City, with the determination of making that point their home. Being short of means, they hired a small room on Douglas street, where they kept bachelor's hall. Pendleton and Robb had embarked in the profession of law, and soon swung out their shingles, and offered their services to litigants. Pendleton was, in politics, a radical, and Robb a democrat. They, as speakers, were both fluent and eloquent, evincing much ability as orators. The year following their settlement at Sioux City, they were nominated by their respective political parties, as candidates for the legislature; the canvass was warm and close. The Sioux City Register, a democratic journal, edited and published by F. M. Zebaugh, used its influence for Robb, and was unsparing in its efforts to defeat Pendleton; it commented much on the personal appearance of Pendleton, who was somewhat eccentric. He usually wore a plug hat, a forked blue coat adorned with brass buttons, a huge pair of boots the tops of which enveloped the lower extremities of his pants; he was poor, but honorable and gentlemanly and always worked with a will to win. During the canvass, his blue coat rendered him as conspicuous and notorious as Horace Greely's white coat did him in early life. "Pen," as he was familiarly called, used to enjoy the "blue coat persecution," by his political enemies, and would laugh heartily over it, and say that he found out west much depended on the style of ones hat and the cut and color of his coat, even in politics. We do not mention this as any discredit, but to remind the reader that we are not to always judge a man by his outward appearance. "Pen" made his mark, and was soon ranked among the ablest and most prominent speakers and orators of the state. The election over, and Robb was elected by a meager majority—from six, to twelve. Mr. Robb was afterwards (in 1860 or 61), nominated by his party, as a candidate for register of state land office—but defeated. Pendleton, was elected judge of the judicial district in which he resided, which position he filled commendably to himself, and to the entire satisfaction of the public, displaying, more legal ability than had been accredited to him.
     About the middle of March, 186O, J. L. Swiggett commenced the publication of "The Sioux City Times," a republican paper, the first political paper of the kind published in Woodbury county. Pendleton mounted the tripod as editor, and wielded the pen with much ability. It was run for about nine months, and through the Lincoln campaign, at which the county election for the first time gave a republican majority. The Times, it was claimed, aided very materially in bringing about the change. When the "Times" was numbered among the things that were, Pendleton found himself minus about two hundred dollars, and Swiggett plus from two to three hundred more than when he commenced.
     During the years 1858, 1859 and 186O, the Sauntee Sioux Indians became very troublesome to the settlers of northwestern Iowa. They made frequent raids on the settlers, stealing their most valuable stock, and not unfrequently murdering some of the unoffending citizens. So frequent and alarming were those depredations, that in the spring of 1861, it was thought necessary to use military force to awe the savages into subjection. Accordingly, a company of "home guards" was formed, out of the citizens of Sioux City and vicinity. Gen. Wm. Tripp, who had rendered his country bloodless service in the state of Maine, as a militia officer, was chosen captain, Dr. W. R. Smith, first lieutenant, A. J. Millard, second lieutenant, G. W. Chamberlin, orderly sergeant, J. Hipkins, second sergeant, together with the other necessary non-commissioned officers whose names are now not remembered; all classes and professions were represented that lived in the county. The withdrawal of the troops from the garrisons in the upper country about this time seemed to give the foe additional courage to augment their hostilities; rumors of depredations began to multiply along the valleys of the Little Sioux, and Floyd rivers. Governor Kirkwood, having been apprised of the increasing hostilities of the savages, and fearing for the safety of his frontier borders, ordered out the "home guards" into active service, for the purpose of giving these vile miscreants of the forest a severe castigation, and learn them by sad experience not to trample upon the powers that be. His Excellency designated our company (I say our company, as I had the distinguished honor of holding the position of high private in it), as company A, and assigned it to the first regiment of state troops. He changed the name, however, from "home guards" to "frontier guards.'' The state troops were placed under the command of Caleb Baldwin, of Council Bluffs, who acted as the governor's aid. His corporeal being too much of the oleaginous character to race Indians of the western prairies, his Excellency no doubt be thought himself; that a "lean man for a long race," and superseded Baldwin, by Hon. A. W. Hubbard, of Sioux City. The guards, soon after their organization, were ordered out on the "war-path." On receipt of the order, Capt. Tripp was absent, and the command devolved on Dr. Smith, first lieutenant, the great "medicine man," who was soon seen mounted on his war-steed, at the head of fifteen or twenty of his braves, who were panting for the blood of their enemies. We well remember our reflections upon our good fortune, that we were not among the first to be ordered out to be welcomed by the "Lo" family with bloody hands and inhospitable graves. Like Henry Ward Beecher, during the great rebellion, who said it was necessary for some to go to fight "rebs," and some to stay at home and take care of the women and children, and for his part he would choose the latter, and we were left at home to protect the ladies.
     This grand cavalcade of braves took up their line of march for the tented field of the Little Sioux valley, and after four or five days toilsome marching, and strategic movements, to intercept some of the Lo family, they returned in good martial order with the great ''medicine chief" at their head, covered with glory, and their scalps in good state of preservation. They had hardly finished recounting the deeds and exploits of a bloodless campaign, when they were again startled by the tocsin of war again sounding in the valley of the Little Sioux, and the cry of the settlers that. "Indians are upon us; come over and help us." The response was echoed back in good military style, " we will come." Our brave captain had now returned to fight, bleed, and die with his brave "countrymen and gentlemen soldiers," as he delighted to call us. We were soon on our prancing war steeds, and making rapid strides in the direction of the bloody foe. Arriving in the Little Sioux valley, our captain—in order to give ample room and opportunity for his brave soldiers to make a full display of their courage—divided them out in small squads in the different settlements along the river. Sergeant Stevens was stationed at the house of Morris Kelloggs, at Correctionville, and had under his command, N. Pratt, Adam Falk, Wm. Roberts, and Isaac Pendleton, editor of the Sioux City Times, who had exchanged the quill and scissors for the musket and scalping-knife. At night the sergeant quartered his braves in the house, removing some of the chinking from between the logs, in order that they might discover through the orifice any approaching enemy. Pratt being an elderly man was permitted to retire to bed up stairs. A guard was posted,—it was a bright moonlight night,— Roberts was on guard; about two o'clock in the morning when looking through a crack in the wall toward the stable which stood a few rods from the house, he discovered a fine specimen of the Lo family stealthily approaching the house. He moved very cautiously, making a few steps softly, and then stopping to listen. After he had came up between the house and stable, he halted for a few moments, and hearing no alarm he returned to the corn field just in the rear of the stable, when the guard quietly awoke the sergeant with the startling intelligence that "the Indians are upon us," who in turn aroused the remainder of his command, who were luxuriating in the arms of Morpheus. Now was a test of pluck for the first time, but they faltered not, and came to the scratch as come brave men. They were placed in position around the room; Pratt at the window up stairs, Roberts at the door opening toward the stable. The door was set ajar so that full range of the enemy could be had. Pendleton took his position a little back of Roberts, and in range of the opening. No sooner were they placed in position when four of the enemy approached the stable door, which was in range of the deadly missiles in the hands of our soldiers, when they tried to open the door, evidently, for the purpose of stealing the horses within; finding it chained and locked they produced a file and commenced filing on the chain, when Kellogg said in an excited manner, "I see an Indian." No order had yet been given to fire, but on this remark from Kellogg, Roberts fired, the others following. The Indians immediately returned the fire twice in rapid succession; one was bullets and the other buck-shot and slugs. One buck-shot, or slug, took effect in Pendleton's head, striking him in the forehead to the left and ranging around the skull to the back part of the head and one lodging in his cartridge box. Roberts was also wounded, a ball striking him in the left side, and ranging around on a rib, fracturing it considerably. The Indians made good their escape, notwithstanding, hotly pursued by our soldiers.
     Mr. Pratt had fine range at the enemy from the window where he stood, and brought his yeager to bear upon them, when to his surprise it failed to do its deadly work; again and again he snapped, but no response from the powder within, when after the enemy had fled, and the excitement died away, he proceeded to make an examination of his old yeager, and found that he had omitted putting a cap on it; this created much amusement for the balance of the company. The next day the wounded were removed to Sioux City and placed in charge of Mr. A. M. Hunt, the surgeon of the company.
     The news of this little engagement ran through the border counties like fire in stubble,—the whole country was in a state of excitement. The following appeared in the Crawford Recorder, in Crawford county, which we subjoin:

     "Full Particulars of the Indian Troubles! Two Men Dangerously
     Wounded! Sixteen Horses Stolen!

     "The rumor of last week, that the Indians had made their appearance from thirty to fifty miles northwest of us, along the Maple, Little Sioux, and Floyd, is confirmed, with full particulars. The first of April, ten horses were stolen at Smithland, and five of them recovered. The last of April, there were two stolen at Mapleton,—not recovered. The first of June, five were stolen on the Floyd,—not recovered. The middle of June, two were stolen at Correctionville, and two at Ida Grove the same night,—not recovered; making sixteen horses in all, that have been driven off by Indians, or white animals in Indian disguise, and not recovered. This last depredation resulted in seriously wounding two of the soldiers ordered out from Sioux City by Judge Hubbard, one of them it is feared fatally. As one of the wounded is no less than our friend Isaac Pendleton, the able editor of the Sioux City Times, a lawyer, orator, and gentleman, of whom his county and, we trust, the state may yet be proud; a more detailed account may be of interest.
     "The Indians had divided off in squads at different points, where they wished to make their depredations,—at Ida Grove, Correctionville, and points in those vicinities. Committing their plunder at night, they would be out of ordinary reach in the morning,. At one point between Smithland and Correctionville, four Indians with cattle, were surrounded by six men on horses, and were about being taken, when they escaped upon the opposite side of the river, and then fired upon their pursuers, killing instantly a horse under the rider, and thus escaped."
     Judge Hubbard, of Sioux City, has been authorized by the governor, to organize a company of infantry and one of cavalry, for such occasions. The Judge has ordered the companies to hold themselves in readiness for action at a moment's warning. Indian troubles thus commenced, it is hoped, will soon be terminated. At the same time, prudence would seem to dictate the immediate organization of HOME GUARDS in each county; and we have no doubt but that the citizens of Crawford will be found at their post, with such arms as they may have; and after the FOURTH, be ready as minute men in all parts of the county, to give warning of the approach of red men, and to rush with justice in their hands.


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